Choosing the right dress code

The Correct Dress Code Can Enhance Any Event

Last weekend I was very lucky to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as a guest of a Member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC). This not only meant that we could park inside Silverstone, we were also able to use both of their club houses, right on the track as well as being lucky enough to have our own Grand Stand and take the truly incredible Pit Walk.

When I received our passes we were instructed to read their dress code so that entry was not refused.

The dress code was referred to as 'simple and straight forward',and 'not particularly onerous' which made me think how easy it can be to make an event uncomfortable and awkward if you get the dress code wrong and make it too stringent.

Ascot, for instance is very strict regarding it's dress code as is Wimbledon and although it is very easy to follow & is suitable for the occasion, it can make attending on very hot days uncomfortable and take away from the experience.

The BRDC Code (as seen below) even states that it is designed for the benefit of it's members and guests and from what I saw on Sunday it worked perfectly.


The Club operates a simple and straight-forward dress code in Club areas, at all times, for the benefit of all Members and their guests. The dress code is not particularly onerous and is designed to enable the broad spread of ages within the membership to meet it without difficulty. The dress code is best described as ‘Smart Casual’ and applies to both ladies and gentlemen entering Club areas.

• No shorts, short playsuits or skorts

• No dirty, frayed or ripped jeans/trousers

• No T shirts (smart Polo shirts are acceptable)

• No collarless shirts

• No scruffy trainers

• No flip flops or other types of beach shoe

• No sandals to be worn by gentlemen

• The wearing of hats or caps inside is not allowed except on medical grounds

Every Gentleman was smart, but relaxed. The fact that people were allowed to wear smart polo shirts worked very well and every Gentleman there looked great in the sun, something that doesn't happen very often in Britain in the hot weather!

Never, ever, ever, is it OK to not wear a top during the hot weather. Vests should also never be worn, and no sleeve T shirts are an extraordinary choice of clothing. And sports wear should never be worn as casual wear. The clue is in the name!

One chap did sneak in in shorts and was gently escorted out, but that was the only person I saw who hadn't read the dress code and maybe it was the dress code but although a great amount of Pimms and Champagne was consumed by most people there, decorum was always in order.

So I think that if you are looking to host a summer drinks party, or a work do, a summer party or Birthday bash, I would suggest a 'Non Onerous' Dress Code. Collars are a must, but if these are relaxed on a smart polo shirt then perfect. No trainers, as secretly men love shoes! and allowing them to pull on the favourite loafers that don't get that many outings then great. 

Not only did everyone look great, the heat of the day was combated without having to don warm jackets and so everyone looked even fresher and more stylish throughout the day.

Thinking about your dress code may not seem an important part of your event, but allowing people to be relaxed and comfortable will only enhance the atmosphere of any party, allowing it to run smoothly and be incredibly successful.

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